Box office records are likely to fall this weekend with the release of “Avengers: Endgame.”
That’s why several local movie theaters have gone the extra mile to prepare for the onslaught of moviegoers this weekend.
For today’s release, Celebration Cinema in Benton Township and all three of the Moore Theatres – Loma Theatre in Coloma, Michigan Theatre in South Haven and Wonderland Cinema in Niles – have several screens set aside for the film that boasts a three-hour runtime.
Jarrod Zelvis, assistant manager at Celebration Cinema, said they will have 28 showtimes from Thursday through Sunday in various formats. For perspective, Celebration will have 23 showings of all other movies combined this weekend.
“It’s potentially record-breaking,” Zelvis said. “These are definitely some unprecedented numbers.”
Online ticketing websites Fandango and Atom Tickets have reported the film has already broken several records on their sites including, first-hour, first-day and first-week sales records.
Current industry predictions have the film earning between $260 million and $285 million in the U.S. during its debut (using three-day release figures). “Endgame” will have the highest opening weekend in U.S. history if it cracks $257.6 million – with the current three-day record held by “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Zelvis said Celebration has seven screens completely dedicated to showing the 22nd installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He said a few other screens will hold random showings of the film as well.
“This is the culmination of everything. It’s got that presence to it,” Zelvis said. “It’s what everybody has been watching since ‘Iron Man’ came out in 2008. People have been following these characters for 11 years and this is it.”
Because the movie is three hours long, Celebration is using more screens for the opening weekend.
Zelvis said he doesn’t believe the film’s attendance will drop that much the following weekend because of the amount of people that might wait to avoid the crowds this weekend.
He said costumes will be allowed for the showings – with the exception of masks and weapons or what can be perceived as weapons. He does expect to see a few Captain America shields.
“Since we have so many showtimes there are still a lot of good seats,” Zelvis said. “We recommend buying everything online. In this instance, reserve seating is a great perk.”
Scott Moore, vice president of Moore Theatres, said it’s always fun to see people flock to the movies. But when there is a major blockbuster that hits theaters, Moore said employees at the theaters feel an excitement in the air.
“I’m excited because it’s one of these big things that doesn’t happen a lot,” Moore said. “The ‘Star Wars: Force Awakens’ movie was like that. But that was a few years ago.”
When it was released in 2015, “The Force Awakens” played in 4,100 locations during its debut and hauled in $247.9 million in its first weekend.
Moore said they are doing a special promotional event this weekend at Wonderland where attendees can stand in front of a green screen and get their photo taken with an Avenger.
As of Wednesday night, Rotten Tomatoes gave “Endgame” a fresh rating of 97 percent.
Movies typically run in theaters six to eight weeks, but Moore foresees a longer run than that.
Three screens will show the Avengers movie at Wonderland, while The Loma will have two screens for the blockbuster.
“The fan base is so great. It’s really drawn everybody in, across generations,” Moore said. “I recommend planing ahead, especially at The Loma where there isn’t reserved seating.”
Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski